How to Attract Working Professionals: Easy Shopping, For Busy Customers

How to attract working professionals

Attract Working Professionals Blog Image 1 - a group of employees having a discussion round a small coffee table

In the UK, there are 33 million people aged 16+ in employment, showing a high opportunity for retailers to attract working professionals, generating higher sales.

Working professionals have two priorities when they visit your store: convenience and ease of shopping.

“You need to remove their need to think, so workers can start their relaxing evening sooner than they planned,” explains Sunita Aggarwal, owner of two Spar stores in Sheffield.

“Most workers have decided what products they want on their drive to your store and it’s essential we provide everything they need.”

Vishal Trivedi, owner of D & R News in Bolton, echoes this and adds: “Working professionals are looking for quick solutions and a fast shopping experience, otherwise they’ll find somewhere else to shop.”

Build an evening meal solution

Attract Working Professionals Blog Image 2 - A plate of fiid rich chana masala on a pancake with  various bowls of sfruit surrounding

After a long day, working professionals often just want to buy their dinner and get home to relax, so make it easy for them by having a full evening meal easily accessible.

Aggarwal offers an evening meal deal that changes every three weeks. She utilises her symbol group’s meal deal promotions and creates her own.

“By doing this, customers have a choice, and they won’t get bored,” she says. “We tend to stick to food within this meal deal and drinks are an additional cost.”

Speaking of drinks to include with any evening meal solution, variety is key. Some will want alcohol, while others will choose soft drinks. For Aggarwal, most of her working professional customers will buy four-packs of beers or wine.

“In the evening, they’ll also treat themselves, especially if they’ve had a hard day. So, you need to make sure they have easy access to chocolate or, if it’s a hot day, make sure you have Tango Ice Blast or F’real available as sales can be high,” she adds.

Find unique products

Working professionals often look for products that combine various health benefits, such as protein, multivitamins and fibre. Epicurium’s range can help you cater for this. Determine if your workers need protein or meal replacements like Huel, which can help keep workers fuller for longer, or hydration drinks with electrolytes, like ActiPH.

That’s not to say that treats aren’t important. After a particularly challenging day at work, this demographic may be tempted to trade up and spend more on something to sweeten the day. Premium confectionery products like Candy Kittens play a critical role here.

Cater for single-person households

Attract Working Professionals Blog Image 3 - A chicken kiev on a plate with mash and peas

The average household in the UK is getting smaller, driven by young professionals living alone. Therefore, buying full meal solutions might not be top of the agenda, especially as reducing waste is important to many.

There are ways around this. Field Fayre is a frozen foods company that offers single products, such as a single croissant or a one chicken kiev, etc. The concept is designed for people buying for themselves, and it’s something Aggarwal is looking to introduce.

“Our frozen food sales have increased quite significantly, but due to shoppers wanting easy-to-cook food and avoid wasting food, this concept means they can use what they need, rather than use a full pack,” she says. 

Ask your shoppers want they want

No-one knows what they want from your store better than your customers, so ask them what they want. This is Trivedi’s strategy.

“We have a lot of competition near us, so to set ourselves apart, we cater for what workers want,” he says. “If they want pasta or tuna pots, we get them in. It’s all about what they want, rather than what we think we should stock.”

Space is limited for Trivedi, so he’s become quite ruthless in his range, but says recommendations from workers have helped him build a core range for them.

“Our most-commonly bought product among working professionals are energy drinks, which is brought throughout the day,” he says. “But people who buy in the evening buy it as a top up for the following morning.”

For Trivedi, mid-price brands are more popular than own label and working professionals are willing to pay a little more for these products. “Working professionals want quality and they get that from well-known brands,” he says. “We also run promotions if we’re trying to shift products quickly.”

Become a one-stop shop

Playing on the convenience trend, retailers can become a one-stop shop. Aggarwal, for example, offers a parcel service. It also means shoppers will often buy additional items, so it’s a great way of driving footfall.

Think about what working professionals normally have to do before or after work, or during their lunch break and determine if introducing additional services are worth it. This could be parcel collection or even having a Post Office can help drive footfall.

Market effectively

Attract Working Professionals Blog Image 4 - A man working at his desk on a laptop, with a can of C4 energy focused in the foreground

While most working professionals are busy, many make time for social media – which is where you can market your business to them while they work.

Trivedi, for example, regularly posts on TikTok to market to younger working professionals and then utilises Facebook and Instagram to target older workers.

“We regularly post on social media about specific products, and it helps bring workers through the door,” he says.

It’s worth prioritising short reels to showcase your range or any promotions that will entice them. This could be snacks if there’s an event happening, especially as the Euros continue, or even an evening meal deal if you run one.

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